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Why Libraries Have a Public Spirit That Most Museums Lack
"A broad swath of society seems to feel more welcome in a public library rather than a museum. I examined the Brooklyn Public Library as a model of heightened engagement through collective knowledge creation."


"At a time when museums are being held accountable by a variety of publics for every aspect of their operations — from programming and exhibition-making to financial support and governance structures — perhaps it is useful to look at parallel institutions that are doing similar work for guidance on alternative ways of working.

I have spent a great deal of time thinking about the relationship between museums and public libraries, to understand what makes libraries feel different from museums. Why do they have a public spirit that most museums don’t? Why are there lines around the block at some NYC library branches at 9 am? I’ve been reading about the roots of both institutions in the United States, and they have evolved in similar ways; so how do they diverge? And is this divergence relevant to the ways in which a stunningly broad swath of society feels welcome within a public library and not a museum?

John Cotton Dana, the Progressive Era thinker and radical re-imaginer of public libraries, wrote a particularly important essay in 1917 titled “The Gloom of the Museum.” It includes a section about expertise that is particularly germane today:
They become enamoured of rarity, of history … They become lost in their specialties and forget their museum. They become lost in their idea of a museum and forget its purpose. They become lost in working out their idea of a museum and forget their public. And soon, not being brought constantly in touch with the life of their community … they become entirely separated from it and go on making beautifully complete and very expensive collections but never construct a living, active, and effective institution.

Museums and libraries in the US originated in similar places and via similar patronage models with their foundational collections coming largely from wealthy collectors of books and art objects, sometimes in conjunction with institutions of higher learning. However, the word “public” remains embedded in what we call the library. And while some branches are named for generous funders, these are secondary to the overall system. In fact, the Queens Public Library system, the largest in the nation, boasts of a branch within a mile of every Queens resident."
libraries  museums  public  2019  lauraraicovich  community  brooklyn  brooklynpubliclibrary  society  welcome  johncottondana  corafisher  jakoborsos  kameelahjananrasheed  participation  co-creation  engagement  visitors  participatory  workshops  sheryloring  scoringthestacks  ideas  information 
5 days ago by robertogreco
Mentioned in the Domain Driven Design PDF.
design  domain  workshops  techniques  servicedesign 
7 days ago by ghijklmno
📢 Just updated my website with information about the I now offer:

– Responsive Web Design Masterclass
workshops  from twitter
21 days ago by matthiasott
Earthquake (houses and tenants)
Earthquake (houses and tenants)

This dynamic involves “houses” and “tenants.” A house is made with two people facing each other with arms held high and palms touching. Demo this. A tenant i...
workshops  exercises  from notes
5 weeks ago by rhaley
Above the Line/Below the Line
Above the Line/Below the Line

(Materials): None for participants; Gong to signal transitions.

(Grouping) At the end of these instructions you will be invited to organize in groups of 4.

workshops  exercises  liberatingstructures  from notes
5 weeks ago by rhaley

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